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What is High-context culture?

To communicate effectively in the business world, communication is an essential key factor in order for you to get across the exact message you want to convey to the other party. Otherwise, there will be misunderstanding and confusion especially in a cross cultural workplace where difference in origin,

cultures, accent and language are widely spread. Thus, accuracy and clarity in communication is very crucial.

What exactly is high-context culture? It is a communication style most common in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and South America. In today's business relations as most companies turns global, professionals find themselves face-to-face with various cultural clashes. For example, while talking to a group of people, a person is listening avidly to you, yet their body language says otherwise, a frown on their face perhaps is visible.

So groups belonging with the high-context cultures, tend to be indirect and formal in conveying messages or ideas. So as the communicator, a listener has to read between the lines and add body language to the equation to fully digest the information. In dealing with conflict, individuals using this kind of communication style, handles it in a different manner.

They prefer to deal with it discretely. In other words, accusation is not directly aimed at anyone, rather than a hint is dispensed. Direct communicators think of them as being dishonest, evasive, have no opinion whatsoever, and only increases the tension by not dealing with the present issues upfront.

So it is important to learn high-context cultures with regards to competence and adaptability to help with individual and group interaction to ensure precise messages are being carried out. The idea is to avoid judgment within the organization. Furthermore, find a common ground. Along these lines, respect each others cultural differences, learn to adapt or understand further so that communication is expressed clearly.


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